How completely different supplies decompose – The Aigat pond – Everlasting Type

how cotton biodegrades

Final week I wrote about the loopwheel knitter Aigatprobably the most specialised producers of loopwheel material – for sweatshirts, T-shirts and so forth – in Japan.

One thing I wished to avoid wasting for a separate article was the show they’d of their reception, the place they’d decomposed completely different materials of their backyard.

The manufacturing unit is about in enticing grounds, with water pouring down from the mountains behind. Establishing them, and working the manufacturing unit alongside environmental traces, has been a ardour of the founder.

In the midst of the backyard is a nice pond, however just a few years in the past the group crammed the entire thing and components of the backyard with lengths of cloth, made up of various fibers (cotton, rayon, polyester).

The concept was to have private, bodily expertise of how significantly better pure materials – like their very own – break down within the atmosphere.

aigat gardenbiodegrade in a pond

The outcomes are displayed in chronological order on the board, under.

The primary strip on the left is the unique material. The strips with purple labels on the prime are those that had been buried within the floor (after 50 days, 100 days, 200 days, as labeled), whereas the blue labels are those who had been within the pond (once more, after 50, 100 and 200 days).

The strips themselves are then divided vertically into completely different fibres. First, two completely different finenesses of polyester, then a polyester/cotton combine, then two finenesses of rayon, and at last cotton.

In case you click on on the picture, it ought to open in a lightbox, and you may then click on on it once more to zoom in. Or you may proper click on and open in a brand new tab, and zoom in there.

how material biodegrade

The rayon was the primary to go – an artificial material, however after all made with regenerated pure cellulose, so it broke down simply.

The cotton is simply simply seen, mendacity on the desk on the backside, however it broke down just a bit slower than the rayon, largely eaten away within the water after 50 days, and fully gone after 100.

However the polyester saved going and going. After 200 days, in water or soil, it had shrunk somewhat however was in any other case nice.

Maybe scariest of all is the cotton/polyester combine. You may suppose this could be somewhat higher than pure polyester, however it’s just about the identical, regardless of among the cotton breaking down.

polyester v cotton biodegrade

I wasn’t stunned on the outcomes, however it was highly effective seeing the method slightly than simply being advised about it.

It additionally made me admire rayon (or viscose) somewhat extra. There are many issues mistaken with it after all, together with the supplies lower right down to make it and the processes used, however it’s actually higher than polyester and nylon on this respect. Different pure supplies utilized in high-end menswear, akin to wools and vegetable-tanned leathers, are additionally higher in that manner.

We in all probability cannot get into all of the nuances of fabric sustainability right here – and quantity of consumption is usually the largest concern – however on this one facet the purpose is fairly compelling.

Aigat, I ought to add, solely use pure cotton and generate their manufacturing energy 60-70% from photo voltaic panels on the roof. Actively rising the backyard helps a bit with the CO2 emissions as properly.

Aigat factory japan

For extra on PS about sustainability, see:

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